It is a major change in the race for endorsements within the Republican Primary for Governor, and Tom Price is dumping his previous endorsement of Nathan Deal for Karen Handel.
Price, along with the 4 of the remaining
G-7 G-6, endorsed Deal when he originally announced his intention to run for Governor. Since then, Deal’s campaign has been “snake bitten”, with off message issues of Ghetto Grandmothers, Birthers, and then a probably campaign-fatal release of a preliminary investigation report from the House Ethics Committee.
Handel, meanwhile, has been gaining ground in the polls, and has increased her fundraising rate to a competitive range with the once dark horse turned last quarter’s fundraising leader Eric Johnson. She’s also owned earned media for most of the past month.
There is a sense of urgency among Republicans to choose a candidate not named “Oxendine”, and specifically among those wishing to return to Washington, to distance themselves from ethics issues of state level Republicans. The candidates with statewide organizations not mired in ethics issues are Karen Handel and Eric Johnson, and an intense battle is going on behind the scenes to galvanize support behind one of these two for the Republican nomination.
And in that battle, Handel draws first blood by pulling Price away from the Deal camp.
Full press release below the fold.
The Momentum Continues: Congressman Tom Price Endorses Karen Handel for Governor
Touts Handel ‘leadership and courage’, calls her a great candidate who would make a wonderful Governor
ALPHARETTA, GA – Congressman Tom Price (R- 6th District) today endorsed former Secretary of State Karen Handel for Governor of Georgia.
“Karen Handel has demonstrated the strength, courage and leadership in business and public office that we desperately need in the next Governor of our great state of Georgia. Karen is not only the best candidate to win the nomination and take on Roy Barnes and the Democrats in November, but she will also be a wonderful Governor for our state,” Congressman Price said today.
Price continued, “I know Karen. We have worked together on important issues for our constituents and our state. Karen will fight for transparency and accountability in our government and has the vision we need to create jobs, cut taxes, improve education and finally tackle the transportation challenges faced by so many Georgians.”
“I am very excited to have my friend and Congressman join our campaign,” Handel said. “He is a highly respected leader – not only in Georgia, but nationally. The addition of his counsel, as well as his energy and enthusiasm, will be invaluable in the weeks and months to come.”
Biography of Congressman Tom Price
While in Congress, Price has worked on bold, principled solutions to our many challenges, including energy, the economy, tax and health care policy.
Congressman Price has actively and aggressively fought for patient-centered health reform. He was the primary author of H.R. 3400, the Empowering Patients First Act, which would solve the remarkable challenges America faces in the realm of healthcare without putting the government in charge. He understands that what is needed is a system that maintains the highest quality care in the world while correcting the failings in the area of insurance coverage and non-medical decision-making.
Because of his strong leadership, Congressman Price was by his colleagues to chair the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Price received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Michigan and completed his Orthopedic Surgery residency at Emory University. He established an orthopedic clinic just north of Atlanta, where he practiced for 20 years, helping grow his group into the largest private practice of orthopedic surgeons in the nation. He then returned to Emory University School of Medicine as an assistant professor. Before coming to Congress, Dr. Price was medical director of the Orthopedic Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, teaching resident doctors in training.
Price is active in the Atlanta community, is a past president of the Roswell Rotary Club and has served on Boards of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Orchestra Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation, and the North Metro YMCA. Congressman Price with his wife, Elizabeth, and family reside in Roswell. They are members of the Georgia Ensemble Theater, Roswell Clean and Beautiful, and the Chattahoochee Nature Center.